Wednesday, September 9, 2015
Our location has been changed to the Croatia sub mission and we will be living in Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovinia. We understand we will be traveling frequently through the 5 countries in the mission (Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia & Herzegovinia). In fact we realized that we needed to add 48 more passport pages since we both only had about 10 left in our current passports. We expect our passports with extra pages to arrive any day now.
Tuesday, September 8, 2015
Considering what to apply for
We’ve been considering another full time mission even before we finished our first full time mission less than two years ago. While we looked forward to experiencing another challenging mission, we did hope to have a different kind of challenge. But how would we find such places and improve our chances of being assigned to one of them?
When we were applying for our first full time mission we were reluctant to actively be recruited to a particular mission. We had at that time spoken to several in the mission department about some specific areas but only said that we were physically active, healthy and ready to serve anywhere.
This time, after several calls to the mission department we discovered that there are specialized missionaries who are called “recommenders”. These elders and sisters have the responsibility of staying abreast of all the urgent pleas by mission presidents from over 400 missions in the church for senior missionaries and recommending which couples might fill each calling. The recommenders get a head start though because about 60% of senior missionary couples will have already been recruited to specific missions, so they only have to work on the 40% that have not yet been recruited.
Areas where senior couples are needed in virtually all kinds of service such as member and leader support, humanitarian, Church Education System and so forth, ranged from the Philippines to Samara in southern Russia, and from Siberia to central Europe.
We found a great area.
Central Europe? An area with great need for seniors and likely a more compatible diet for us. Sister Schlehuber and I have been there! Five years ago we had the opportunity to travel through Europe by train and spent a couple of days in Maribor, Slovenia and had the pleasure of attending the small branch there. We recalled commenting at the time how much fun it would be to serve a full time mission there. We looked up the mission that included Slovenia and on a late Friday night in mid June we composed an email and sent it to the attention of the president of the Adriatic North Mission. We described our circumstances, our prior mission experiences, our love for the area that we had visited, that we would love to be recruited to the Adriatic North Mission and that we would be submitting our application in a little over a month. The following day we had a response from the mission president.
The first line of his email he said, “Consider yourself recruited!” That day was Saturday, June 20 and we had our mission applications in 4 weeks later. Our call arrived Monday, August 10.
We shared opening our call with friends who recorded it and want to share it with you.
We had our first Croatia language orientation August 12 and our first full lesson August 20. Today is the first time we've taken a break from preparing and studying to tackle our new blog.